BRADENTON - It took one winter in Minnesota to make Don Hall miss the warmer climes of the South.
"The winter here was brutal," said the Kentucky native and Minneapolis Schools CIO over the phone. Hall was officially hired this week as Manatee County Schools' Deputy Superintendent of Operations after working for the Minneapolis district since December.
Part of a major restructuing of the district's top-level organization, Hall's hiring was requested by his former supervisor, new superintendent Rick Mills, and approved by the school board unanimously this week. The new position replaced one that had been held by Scott Martin, who will be staying on as as staff attorney for the district.
Martin's title at his position was Assistant Superintendent of District Support Services, and there is more change in the transition than just the position's title. "We upgraded it and increased the responsibilities for it," said Mills, who said that one of the changes will be that district CFO Michael Boyer, who did not report to Martin, will now report to Hall.
Mills, who worked with Hall during his tenure in Minneapolis, was enthusiastic when speaking about him this week, calling him "collaborative", "inclusive" and adept at team-building, and said he would bring "a huge skillset to our organization."
That skillset includes experience in information technology and finance, the two primary focuses of Hall's new position. Prior to Minneapolis - where he helped manage payroll, human resources and food services, among other things - Hall's background included working as a senior consultant for Bleakly Advisory Group, and also serving as CIO in two other school districts: Muscogee County, GA, and Kent Public School District in Covington, WA.
When talking about Mills, Hall said, "I think we share a common philosophy about making sure that good processes are in place, and have good accountability measures to monitor, and celebrate the succesess that come along."
While Mills was not asked about Minnesota's weather, it may not be a stretch that they also share a relief that they're no longer driving to work in frigid temperatures.
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